Support » Themes and Templates » So lost… what should I do with themes?

  • Resolved strawberrykoi



    I am at a loss here. I am moving from blogger to wordpress, and I feel so out of my element and have a difficult time editing wordpress themes to meet my requirements. As I am trying to just emulate my blogspot template, I need the theme to be quite wide, have three columns and have an image-based navigation menu (you can see it here, but I have had no luck finding a theme that matches those aspects in the slightest.

    So now I have been looking into premium themes and them builders (like ithemes) but nothing has a free trial for me to know if they are as customizable as I need… so I don’t even know if that’s the right direction.

    My question is, do premium themes really offer more than free ones? I don’t want to buy one, if I have to work just as extensively to get the look of my old blog if I can do the same with a free theme.

    …I know everyone hates “what should I do” pleas, but being so new to wordpress I don’t have a full understanding of all my options. What are your recommendations?

    Thanks in advance.

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  • I’m not going to knock premium themes – they have their uses. But the general answer, in my opinion, to a question like “Do I need a premium theme?” is no. Unless you have very large-scale needs. The main thing you get when you pay for a theme is full support from the theme developer. In terms of features, you can get pretty much all the same stuff with free themes, and any features your theme is lacking can easily be adding using plugins. So for a personal blog, you generally don’t need to pay for a theme.

    So here’s what you should do. Go here:

    There, you can check those boxes next to the features you want in your theme. As you can see, you can search for three-column layouts among other things. If you want your page’s layout to be as wide as possible, I recommend also checking the “flexible width” box. This means that the layout of your pages will always adapt to the width of the user’s monitor.

    As for an image-based navigation menu, your best bet is probably to use CSS background images. If you look at the source code for a generated WordPress nav menu, you’ll see that each menu item has its own CSS class. You can use this to define a separate background image for each of them in your blog’s stylesheet.



    Forum Moderator

    The main thing you get when you pay for a theme is full support from the theme developer.

    And even that is not guaranteed judging by many posts in these forums.

    Thanks guys! I think this at least gives me a goal to work with. It’s a lot of work ahead of me, but I have a direction 🙂

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